Demetria Hogan, the Memphis ACO who impounded Kapone, was fired yesterday. She faces two counts of animal cruelty. One in connection with Kapone’s “disappearance” and according to the Commercial Appeal, the other is related to a different dog:
The second cruelty count against Hogan involved a dog she picked up Tuesday after it had been hit by a car. By the time Hogan delivered the dog to the animal shelter, it was dead. Investigators are looking into the possibility Hogan delayed returning to the shelter for fear she would be met by police and arrested for failing to turn herself in on the earlier cruelty case.
The article also confirms the new MAS building will not have webcams installed.
WREG has an interview with Matthew Pepper:
What is bothering him is that people are, in his opinion, jumping on perceptions and not reality. “You’ve seen those billboards around the city about the shelter,” he said. “What did they cost, maybe ten thousand dollars? Can you imagine how many animals could have been spayed and neutered with that money,” he said.
Perceptions, not reality. We can go back and forth ad nauseum on the whole “second before and second after” argument but I think the volume of webcam shots appearing to depict abuse and needless killing speak for themselves. In theory, a single photo could be taken out of context. Two photos even. But when you have hundreds of shots seeming to reveal abuse and needless killing combined with the context that MAS kills 77% of its pets, I think there is cause for legitimate concern. I would offer that there is cause for a police investigation.
As far as the billboard cost goes, I can’t verify the actual cost since I did not purchase the space. But I know the ChipIn that was set up to pay for the billboard was for $1200. I suppose it’s possible the person/group doing the billboard had $9k of their own money and needed to seek donations for the last $1200 but that seems unlikely to me. I assumed that $1200 was the cost. But whatever the actual cost, is Matt Pepper saying that if that money had been given to MAS, it would have been used to spay and neuter pets? MAS doesn’t even offer a no/low cost spay-neuter program to my knowledge. And I think the reality, not perception, is that MAS kills 77% of the pets that come through its doors. Killing is expensive. If someone gave $1200 or $10k or whatever to MAS, I assume they would be funding the killing of healthy/treatable pets. Because that’s the main thing MAS does with its pets – kills them.
Regarding the alleged threats being used as an excuse to hide the abuse and killings at MAS from the public via webcams, Mr. Pepper says:
“I’ve had people call my home personally and made threats toward me. I think our staff has also felt threatened at times,” he said.
If people have called Matt Pepper’s home and threatened him, that crosses the line. I am 100% opposed to that kind of behavior. I would like to see the police reports on when these calls were received, who made them and what the outcome of the investigation was. If the staff has received threats, I’d like to find out this same information. Has anyone seen the police reports regarding these threats? I haven’t so I can’t comment on them but I will say that the webcams are up for the protection of the pets because there have been police reports documenting the threats they face from the workers at MAS.
When asked about the 155 pets listed by MAS as “missing” in 2010,WREG reports:
According to Pepper, it was an accounting problem and nothing more.
Wow. Sounds like MAS has some very serious accounting issues with their record keeping.
Regarding the excessively high kill rate at MAS, Mr, Pepper says:
“One way you can look at that is, we’re putting three quarters of all animals brought in to sleep,” he says. “Another way you can look at it is, that’s the lowest figure we’ve had in five years.”
Well it’s the lowest figure you’ve had in 5 years if we trust your accounting. Which you just told us is shoddy. I think I’m going to look at it the way the healthy/treatable pets at MAS might: You are needlessly killing 3 out of 4 pets in your care despite having tools at your disposal to end that practice. It’s revolting and unjustifiable.
And please, lose the whole “putting to sleep” jargon. I put Charlie to sleep last month after loving him as a family member for 10 years, in order that he would not have to suffer once treatment options for his cancer had been exhausted. He was medically hopeless and suffering. I loved him every day for 10 years and I fed him homemade biscuits and told him how much I loved him until his last breath. I love him today and every day. That’s euthanasia or as Mr. Pepper says “putting to sleep”. What MAS does is killing. If you can’t own it, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it.